When it comes to marketing, usually making a splash is the goal. You want to run a campaign that will have such a large area of effect, people will be feeling its ripples for a long time after it lands. When you're designing a website though, making a splash is just about the last thing you want to do. And when I say splash in the context of websites, let me make this clear, I'm talking about splash screens. They're terrible for your users, and their terrible for automotive SEO.
In case you don't know, splash screens are those (annoying) full screen welcome pages that some businesses (including far too many car dealerships) use as their home page. They were once regarded as stylish (along with flash intros) and they usually feature a logo and some kind of supposedly catchy slogan.
All that they really do is hurt your page, for both user experience and SEO.
For SEO, splash screens can be a death knell. Search engines like Google and Bing will take one look at the splash screen, see that it has very light content, and then adjust your rankings accordingly. In today's SEO world, content (lots of content) is the king, so having a pretty little splash is just a bad idea.
It's even worse for customers. For starters, most customers these days see a splash screen and immediately think they've traveled back into the early 2000s. It's just a played out technique that screams OUT OF TOUCH. What's more, splash screens when a user is expecting content can be confusing and cause them to simply navigate back instead of moving forward.
This may seem a little basic, but there are still splash screens being used in the automotive world every day. Please, for your own sake, don't be one of them.
Originally published on Automotive SEO.